Tuesday, July 29, 2014

America's Finest




















   In a typical case of  computer ignorance, I managed to eradicate a number of the comments from a few of my previous posts. My apologies to the folks who took the time to write. I mistakenly had hit the not spam button when I was trying to delete some spam, and anyway, in trying to fix it, I took out the spam and comments that mattered. Regardless of the saying that ignorance is bliss, there are times when it's real pain in the butt to be stupid about certain matters. Oh well. Now on to the primary reason for this post. Needless to say, I'm incredibly proud of my two sons. In an age where so many Americans are only too happy to deliver a mediocre performance on the job, as long as they receive a paycheck, these men have excelled in their chosen fields. It's not because of the pay either. The military is not one of the professions you step in to expecting to make the big bucks. They both have a chest full of medals and honors for excellence. Hell, when I was in the navy I was just hoping to make it through  my four years and getting on with my life. I don't think either of these fellows are planning to make the military a career, which makes the dedication and hard work all the more admirable to me. I find it incredible that in an age when America has more enemies than at any other time since it's founding as a country, we have an administration that fails to see the need for a strong military. Instead, they are cutting back the military to pre-world war two numbers. They have apparently subscribed to the idea that you can reason with terrorists and madmen. Ask the folks on the flight that was shot down over Ukraine how that worked, or perhaps you could reason with ISIS, or the Taliban or Hamas. I have friends who, when they ask about the boys and I mention their military service, kind of disapprove. How nice for them that they can continue on  with their comfortable lives without having to worry about having the bloody hell bombed out of them. It's because of men like those above, who have taken up the mantle of excellence in their willingness to defend this country that we Americans can sleep in safety at night. The men and women of my father's generation went to war, not because they wanted to, but to protect the freedoms that we as Americans hold so dearly. I have a license plate on the front of my truck that states what should be obvious to everyone. It states simply, Freedom isn't Free. It's bought by the blood and sacrifices made by those in our military and their families. It sure as hell isn't paid for by politicians who want to talk their way to peace. I hope that if you meet up with a member of our military, you'll shake their hand and say thanks. It's the least we can do for those who are fighting for our  country.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Jen's House of Chickens

















  For reasons unknown to dolts such as I am, there has been an upsurge of  interest in our fair town in the lowly chicken. I'm not quite certain who first started this latest fad, but there is a lady in town who apparently has something like a hundred of the blasted things, and seems to be gaining a few disciples who are like minded. I know the guy down the street had a coop built that would be suitable for living in yourself if there were a source of heat, a bed and perhaps a little entertainment. It's pretty much the deluxe version of chicken coops. Perhaps if these fancy homes for fowl catch on, there will be a special slot for them on H G TV. The guy with the fancy coop wasn't satisfied with just having chickens; in short order he decided to get some turkeys too. Hmmm... so far no problem...yet. Jen isn't so lucky. Her neighbor, Chicken Lady's mother, the big hen, rather liked the idea of having chickens as well, so  she's got a dozen of so running around. The problem is that her lawn is so overgrown that the birds can't move around, so naturally they gravitate to the path of least resistance, which in this case is my daughter Jennifer's yard. So far they've managed to peck out a handful of plants from her garden as well as dig hollows in the dirt so they can nest comfortably.  They also discovered her massive fir tree in the front yard and are using it to roost at night. Lovely. The thing that endears them to her the most though is that, like all mammals, they produce waste. She stepped out into her yard barefooted the other morning right into a half dozen droppings. She spoke to her neighbor once already, but so far to no avail. She did mention it to the local wildlife trooper as well, and while they may not be technically considered wildlife, they are running wild, and he said she should feel free to pop them with a pellet gun. I told her to buy a box of chicken wings from the Chipper Fish and go visit her neighbor while she munches down on the wings. Some people need a little more than a friendly reminder. Fortunately for the chickens she's too kind to do that. I, of course, am not that kind. I brought my fancy chicken hat over to Jen the other day to see if she could lure them back to their own yard, kind of like the Pied Piper of Hamlin. While they did seem to be somewhat entertained by the hat, they stayed firmly planted in her yard. It's so much nicer than theirs. Perhaps we should contact the fellows at Duck Dynasty to see if they make chicken calls. It might be a new lucrative market for them. While writing this post, I noticed that Jen appears to look somewhat like she is wearing a small war bonnet, much like the native Americans used to wear on the war path. No doubt if the natives had been wearing chicken hats such as the one modeled above, the white man would never have had a chance at conquering them. They would have been too busy laughing and would have been easy targets. Another lesson learned too late. Ah well.



Monday, July 7, 2014

Slim Pickin's


























  As I had mentioned earlier in the season, I have to actually do something (fishing) that in theory will make me a few bucks. As a result, I haven't had too much time or energy to donate to this blog. So sorry, but as I age I find myself with less and less stamina. At the end of the day, and especially if I've been out on the water all day, I'm really drained, so I don't have much to give to writing. However, it's been a few days since I last fished, so I thought I would take a few minutes and try to put something out for the faithful few who have been reading this. The summer king opening started on July 1, which meant that the outside coast was  open for fishing. The difference is like night and day between fishing out on the ocean and fishing on the inside in the bays and inlets of the Inside Passage. On June 30th, I started on my way out to the coast. I was fighting the tide all the way out, figuring I would make it to South Pass right about the time the tide started going out, thus avoiding all the current and tide rips that typically occur on the ebb tide at the Pass. The wind was supposed to be blowing out of the East at ten knots, which normally would be almost flat calm. Frankly, I don't know if the folks at the National Weather Service just throw dice at a board and announce whatever they happen to land on and call it a forecast or what, but it was NOT blowing ten easterly. I was watching the charter and whale watch boats trying to get back into the dock to pick up the next unlucky batch of landlubbers and most of them were burying their bows in the steep waves and whitecaps. I had the wind pushing me along, so it wasn't quite so bad, until I reached Point Adolphus. Then it was a white knuckle ride for the next thirty minutes of so. If my hair wasn't already white for the most part, it would have been by the time I was through that washing machine ride. Once I got on the back side of the point where the wind wasn't so much of a factor, the fog started in. Oh Joy! Fortunately the radar was working, as well as the GPS, which makes all the difference in the world when traveling in the fog. It can still be disorienting though. I made it to the Pass at just about the right time and was congratulating myself, figuring I deserved a hot cup of coffee. I poured a cup and went to fill up the coffee pot, but no water came out of the faucet. Damn! The ice that I picked up for ballast was actually colder than the usual slush that I get and it froze the water line leading to the sink. Of course the moment you can't have something, that's all you can think of. I wanted a drink of water desperately bad. I was starting to panic. What if I started choking on a cookie or something and I didn't have any water to charge the drain? I might choke to death! Fortunately Elfin Cove was right around the corner, so I pulled in and bought a case of bottled water. There were 35 bottles in the case, but it took two just to get enough water for a decent cup of coffee. Of course because I didn't have any other water to tap in to, my mind kept telling me I needed a drink of water every few minutes.At that rate I'd have to come back to the cove for another case before the night was over. After supper that first night I realized that I didn't have any water to do dishes with. Rats! I had to resort to using the salt water wash down hose to clean my dishes and then put the plug in the sink and sparingly pour a little fresh stuff to rinse them. What a pain. Then of course I needed some to brush my teeth. I thought about using some Powerade to brush with, but the idea kind of nauseated me. Vitamin Water wouldn't work either, even though there was a bottle of it in the cooler that was clear. I can't recall what the flavor was, but I doubt if the American Academy of dental hygienists would approve of using it as a rinse. Go figure.I did have a couple of refreshing Miller Lights in the cooler, but beer and Pepsodent probably wouldn't work either. I'd look like I was foaming at the mouth, and actually if I had resorted to such a thing, I would probably deserve to be put away. Anyway, I caught a fair number of King Salmon over the course of the four days I was out there and made it home safe and sound. Once I got in to port I decided to try the faucet one last time, even though all previous attempts had yielded not a drop. I may as well have been in the Sahara. Of course once I got tied up in port, the line had thawed and copious amounts of that liquid delight gushed forth like a Texas oil well. Was I surprised? Of course not! I wouldn't have expected anything different.